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Vancouver's mayor under scrutiny following several snowfalls

(Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130 Photo)
Summary

Gregor Robertson was said to be on holidays during the repeated snowfalls

His team says he was being briefed daily by senior members of his staff during the storms

VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – The snow, for the most part, has cleared in many parts of Vancouver, but it doesn’t appear the city’s mayor is in the clear. There has been a perceived lack of leadership on his part during the snowy, icy conditions and the question is now: will he pay a political price for it?

With arctic air back in the forecast for the next few days, a local political scientist is weighing in about the low-profile Gregor Robertson has been keeping.

No doubt the mayor has not been out there leading the charge. “Leaders should be available and they should be coming out and talking about it. It’s expected and if the public is concerned then that’s your time as a politician to come and try to reassure them. It’s best that you follow the public’s lead,” explains UBC’s David Moscrop.

But that hasn’t been the case during things like the so-called salt fiasco. “He was absent during a time when the city was concerned about ice and I do think that at least in the short-term, he’s going to earn a little bit of ill will.”

However, Robertson may still have time to reverse the negativity his image has taken for the past few weeks. “The next [civic] election isn’t until the fall of 2018 so there’s plenty of time to get past this because it isn’t a huge issue.”

But Moscrop says this issue will likely come up again. “It’s certainly not going to help him in any way. It’s a bad habit and he’ll have to kick it and he should have been there. But it’s not immediately clear if this is going to have a huge impact. He’s going to want to knock it off as soon as possible because no good is going to come from it.”

During the most recent snowstorm, some city councillors called for a third-party review of how the city manages street cleaning during a snowfall. NPA Councillor George Affleck has said Mayor Gregor Robertson seems to be in denial about how often it actually snows in the city.